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For months we’ve been writing about the rumored, anticipated, and all but assured Toyota Grand Highlander. Finally, Toyota says that the larger seven-seat extended-length Grand Highlander will finally be shown at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show on February 8, 2023. The new 2024 Grand Highlander is one of Toyota’s most anticipated new SUVs in several years.

Is Toyota going to make a Grand Highlander?

New 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander preview
New 2024 Grand Highlander preview | Toyota

The Toyota Grand Highlander should look a lot like the current 2023 Toyota Highlander, except with extra space for the back row of seats with more cargo room. The one image Toyota released of the Grand Highlander’s rear end is a huge hint in its news release. Though it has the same look as a Highlander, you can just see a little bit more overhang from the rear wheel to the bumper under the new taillights and stoplight. Toyota says the new SUV will come equipped for family adventures, but didn’t elaborate.

The 2023 Highlander has a lot of room, but with a bit more room, it could definitely become more grand. It has three rows of seating, but the third row has just 28 inches of legroom, compared to a generous 42 inches in the front. That means the third row is for kids or jockeys only. It also has just 16 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which is about enough for a backpack or three with the seat up. To get more room today, you have to step up to the $15,000 more expensive Sequoia SUV.

What will compete with the new 2024 Grand Highlander SUV?

A dark colored 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L parked in front of a squared-off home. The L version seats seven.
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L | Stellantis

The new 2024 Grand Highlander will be longer, and that means that many will cross-shop it with the large seven-seater SUVs like the Chevy Traverse. The Traverse, at 17 feet long, has plenty of room, amenities, and in many cases is a better choice than even Chevy’s Tahoe SUV. It has a powerful V6 and plenty of space. It could also compete with Toyota’s own Lexus TX SUV, which will share the same platform.

The new 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L should also compete with the new Grand Highlander. The L means long, and in the Cherokee’s case, the extended wheelbase turns the Cherokee into a full seven seater with 30 inches of rear seat space. Also, Honda’s Pilot SUV could be considered a competitor, though it is only slightly larger than the current 2023 Highlander.

Is a Toyota Highlander SUV a seven-seater?

The 2023 Toyota Highlander seats seven or eight passengers. It has generous interior room, more akin to the Odyssey minivan, but with an SUV-style driving position and looks. In standard configuration, it seats eight. The optional, and comfortable, captain’s chairs in the middle reduce seating to seven.

However, the new Grand Highlander should provide enough room that the even full-sized adults can sit in the way back with room to spare.

The new 2023 Toyota Highlander gets a new engine

A blue 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

Today’s Highlander is also known as a reliable SUV. For 2023, however, the Highlander will get a more refined engine. Instead of the old 290-horsepower V6, the new four-cylinder has just 265 horsepower. But, it makes quite a bit more torque. The new four-cylinder makes 309 lb.-ft, which means that in real-world driving, and the stoplight-to-stoplight races we all make, it should keep up with the outgoing Highlander. More torque means more power as you tip into the go pedal. It also means that the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It also comes as a hybrid with all-wheel drive.


7-Passenger Shootout: 2023 Toyota Sequoia vs. the Grand Highlander